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Police have let flee and are now searching the main players of Revolutionary Struggle

05 July 2012 / 21:07:25  GRReporter
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The main accused in the case against the terrorist group Revolutionary Struggle Nikos Maziotis and Panagiota Roupa have literally disappeared from under the nose of the Greek police. The controversial couple did not appear at the police station this month, as stipulated by the court order nor at the court where legal proceedings against them are currently underway.

The judicial council released both defendants from custody on 11 October last year. The court order was due to the expiration of the 18-month term legally defined as the longest period for detention. Kostas Gournas, a defendant in the same case, was released with them.

According to the court order, the couple, who took responsibility for the activities of the terrorist group, was banned from leaving the country and the region of Attica. They had to appear at the police station in their neighbourhood every 1st and 20th day of the month.

It is shocking that the two did not appear in the police station on the exact date in June. The man went there with a few days delay and his girlfriend and the mother of his child followed him two days later.

Some days later, Maziotis and Roupa did not appear at all in the court, where the hearing of the case against them was held but their lawyer legally represented them. On 1 July, neither of them appeared at the police station, but nobody reacted. Only yesterday, the police department in the neighbourhood of Exarcheia known as a refuge for anarchists informed that both the defendants had disappeared.

Authorities believe that their escape was planned a long time ago. "We are worried that if not captured quickly, they will form a new armed group, which will carry out attacks in response to the crisis. The fourth guerrilla fighting in urban areas in Greece is probably being organized at this very moment," senior police officials stated. The police believe that the fugitives are in Greece but a network of supporters of their activities is hiding them.

It is ridiculous that even if caught, Maziotis and Roupa cannot be held for over five days, due to the expiry of the 18-month period. According to sources, magistrates are seeking to ensure that they will stay in custody after that period. For this purpose, it is necessary to issue an order for their compulsory court appearance every day, which seems unrealistic for the current judicial system.

Commentators argue that it is its fault because the authorities were forced to release Maziotis, Roupa and five of their "friends" after the legal period of detention due to the proverbial delay of procedures.

The Greek police’s fiasco has caused frustration to the US and UK police authorities.

GRReporter recalls that in June 2004, Revolutionary Struggle carried out bomb attacks at the police station in the metropolitan district of Kallithea and made threats against guests of the Olympic Games in Athens. In December 2005, it assumed responsibility for the explosion outside the Ministry of Economy and Finance in the central Athens Syntagma Square, when two people were injured. In June 2006, the group attacked the Minister of Culture in the New Democracy government at that time George Voulgarakis, as it had mentioned in its manifesto and on12 January 2007, it claimed responsibility in a phone call for the rocket attack against the building of the US Embassy in Athens. Then followed attacks against police stations, banks and the Athens Stock Exchange.

At the same time, the court in Piraeus has unanimously approved, despite the contrary opinion of the prosecutor, the request of Savvas Xiros, convicted for involvement in the terrorist organization 17 November, to be temporarily released from prison and sent for treatment at AHEPA hospital in Thessaloniki under police escort. According to sources, after the expiry of the five-month term, he will apply for final release.

Savvas Xiros’ sentence is five times life imprisonment and 25 years for involvement in the 17 November group. He was captured at the port of Piraeus in the summer of 2002 after being severely injured by a bomb that had exploded in his hands. According to the doctors, his serious health problems date back to this accident.

His lawyer said he cannot see with one of his eyes and the eyesight of the other one is quite poor. His hearing has been also seriously affected and an infection that occurred in the prison has caused serious injuries to his legs. This is why doctors believe that his treatment should be carried out outside the prison.

Savvas Xiros has already managed to sue Greece in the European Court of Human Rights for insufficient health care and a breach of Article 3 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights, which prohibits torture. A compensation of one thousand euro was ruled in favour of the prisoner.

Tags: Crime newsRevolutionary struggleTerrorist groupEscape17 NovemberNikos MaziotisPanagiota RoupaSavvas Xiros
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